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Biomechanical and Physiological Study of Firefighter Boots


  • The primary objective of this study is to determine the effect of boot weight and design on firefighters' biomechanical and physiological responses. Two new models will be tested:
Photos of 2 types of fire fighter boots

Applicable Standards

  • NFPA 1971

Key Partners

  • NFPA
  • IAFF



  • Fire departments and firefighters
  • Firefighter Boot manufacturers

Project Scope

  • To evaluate the effect of boot weight and design on men and women firefighters' oxygen consumption, peak flows, joint loading, dynamic balance, and gait characteristics
  • To provide much needed scientific data to the NFPA 1971 standards committee (Protective Ensemble for Structural Fire Fighting) to revise and update standards


  • None


  • "Physiological Consequences of Leather and Rubber Boots in Men and Women Firefighters," American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting, New Orleans, LA 2007
  • Published manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals


  • Encourage standards organizations to make improvements in firefighter boot standards
Page last updated: August 08, 2008
Page last reviewed: August 08, 2008
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)